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 Beauregard's attention was now given to establishing the shortest practicable line across the neck and entrenching it, so as to hold with the fewest number of troops General Butler in the cul de sac to which he had retreated. His purpose was accomplished in the next few days in a series of actions rising almost to the severity of battles. After each he advanced and straightened his lines, until commencing at Howlett's, on the James, they ran in a line more or less direct to Ashton Creek, near its junction with the Appomattox. Butler, says Swinton, was now in a position ‘where if he was secure against attack, he was also powerless for offensive operation against Richmond-being, as he himself said at the time, “bottled up and hermetically sealed.” ’ And General Badeau in his military history of U. S. Grant says ‘an end had absolutely been put to Butler's campaign.’ The recital of events preceding the battle of Drewry's Bluff, as well as the description of that successful onslaught by 15,000 hastily assembled men (excluding Whiting's 4,000, which never reached the field, or was near enough to exercise even a moral influence), upon an army in position of full twice its numbers shows how much was due to the foresight, the skill and the devotion of the Confederate commander. It is a brilliant page in military history.
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